Second day of Bristol actions: Climate Justice is Social Justice
August 29, 2020
Photo Credit: Gusto Crocker-Mason
For the second day of actions in Bristol, rebels will highlight how corporate activities and fossil fuel extraction are inextricably linked with social injustices on a local, national and global scale.
Actions will focus on the failure of politicians and corporations to act in the public interest in the face of climate and ecological breakdown. Rebels will be asking MPs to publicly back the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill, which if voted through will enshrine the requirement for global equity and push for a just transition.
A centrepiece of the day will be Bristol’s world-renowned Circomedia, returning with their Big Heads Street performance. Co-founder Bim Mason will be bringing a small team of masked performers who will inhabit a set of large, buffoonish masks of world leaders.
Robyn Hambrook, XR street theatre programmer said:
“Much like a newspaper cartoon, we will create a series of images as political comment on current issues.
“We are calling out leaders highlighting that business as usual is unsustainable with the pending climate crisis.”
In a second creative action, XR Families will create artwork named “Follow the Money” in the Lloyds Amphitheatre. This will show how the UK finance sector is pouring money into companies responsible for some of the most socially and environmentally destructive projects on the planet.
Patch Young, one of the organisers, said:
“We’re calling for the UK finance industry to come clean on the emissions it’s bankrolling, the environmental destruction it enables, and the genocide it is complicit in.
“The environmental and human cost of the world’s thirst for oil, gas and coal leaves deep scars, both on the earth and in people. We need to recognise this and stop using energy which includes these as acceptable costs of business.”
In a separate early morning action, rebels invaded the 538 acre Royal Portbury Dock car storage compound and unfurled a banner reading “Buy. Pollute. Scrap. Repeat.”
750,000 new cars move through Bristol Port Company each year – a figure that is unsustainable in a city and country that has declared a climate emergency. The rebels were dressed as bees to represent the ongoing damage to vital species as a result of pollution.
Bristol rebels will also join a protest against Bristol Airport’s appeal against North Somerset councillors’ refusal of the airport’s expansion plans. A socially distancing ‘Grief March’ will bring together large numbers of people representing a coalition of seventeen different groups across the South West, including large numbers of local people.
In the evening there will be a video projected onto the side of the Lloyds building showing the devastation caused by fossil-fuels companies to the Ogoni people of Nigeria, and how they have campaigned for decades for their land and rivers to be cleaned up and regenerated, and their air to be clear of noxious gases. Promises of restoration have been continuously broken and the fight continues to this day.
- 10am – 11:30am: XR Families Collaborative artwork: One Drop in the Ocean. Meet from 10am in the Amphitheatre creating chalk art of rainforests and mangroves showing ‘Where the money flows’. Plus weaving nature crowns, riding bikes and flying windsocks. All activities socially will be distanced.
- 11am – 12noon: Introduction to XR. Meet at the Welcome tent, corner of Wapping Wharf and Prince St.
- 11am – 6pm: ‘We Want To Live’ Photo Booth in the Multimedia tent.
- 12pm – 1pm: Non-Violent Direct Action (NVDA) training. Meet at the Welcome tent.
- 1pm – 2pm: Affinity Group formation session. Meet at the Welcome tent.
- 2pm – 6pm: Cycling-focussed support and activities including Dr Bike (two mechanics) – near the elephant on the south side of the bridge
- 2pm – 6pm: Stage programme – Complete schedule here
- 8.15pm: Film projection (Shell oil’s exploits in Niger Delta/Ogoni people story) onto Lloyds Amphitheatre building just after sundown. Projection will also be visible from M-Shed and Arnolfini though the sound will be clearer in the amphitheatre itself.
- 11:30am: Airport March with the Landing Crew organised by XR Chew Valley in coalition with anti-airport expansion protest groups. Participants gather at Felton Common above St Katherine’s Church. Find out more
- 12pm – 1pm: Animal Rebellion Funeral March, St Paul’s Park, St. Paul’s (behind Portland Square)
- 2pm – 5pm: Animal Rebellion Plant-based Festival, College Green
COVID-19 and public safety
All of XR Bristol’s actions are designed to be inclusive, safe and family-friendly, with the movement taking every precaution to ensure the protests adhere to COVID-19 guidelines.
All supporters have been asked to come with masks and hand sanitiser, and to observe social distancing at all times. There will also be on-site sanitation stations, extra face masks available, and markings for safe distancing in the main stage area. All gatherings will take place outdoors with safety stewards onsite to support and promote COVID-safety around the clock.